In betweens

Do you have those days where you are just uncertain of what to do?  I had “free time” last Wednesday in my sewing space!  I FINALLY finished putting the backing together for Grandma’s Kitchen Quilt and was at a loss for “what’s next”. (No, no photo yet……) (The backing is so huge, I just can’t find a place to lay it out for a photo!)

I have LOTS of projects but wasn’t sure what I wanted to work on. Some of the hesitation comes from the fact that I am leaving on a big trip this week, and I am not sure I want to dig into something new.  (I have LOTS of UFO’s I could work on….)  I could “load” Grandma’s Kitchen Quilt and prepare it for quilting on my frame.  I could get one or 2 of the scrap quilts off of hangers and order some backing and batting and ship them to OneBlockWonderWoman to practice on when I visit at the end of April.  Or, I could play with something new. Or…I could pack up Grandma’s Kitchen Quilt and backing and mail it off to One Block Wonder Woman and quilt it when I visit.  (She actually approved of the idea today, so I think we have plan!)

Anyway, during my “free time” on Wednesday, I finally made a decision when the never filed stack of embroidery designs fell off the heap on my desk. Since my big table was clear, I took the papers there and sorted them for filing in my  4 embroidery design binders. Once that was done, I pulled out a couple that I loved, and grabbed some pre-washed towels that I keep at hand and got busy playing with the embroidery machine.   These were fun to stitch out, and I played around with different methods for stabilizing, so it was educational along the way!  Definitely a fan of hooping tear-away stabilizer, the SPRITZING it lightly with 505  spray, and pressing with my fingers, the towels towels to the now sticky stabilizer. I learned from experiments that plush towel or towels with nap need denser designs.  I am pretty pleased with how these turned out. 

Fun stitching on Kitchen towels

The design with the spoon is heavy enough to go on a terry towel, but the word KITCHEN on the dark towel is not dense enough.  I still need to give them a wash, but I think they turned out well overall. The white towels are from the craft section at Walmart – they are called Aunt Martha’s Vintage towels  and come in a package of 3 for a reasonable price. I like them because they are sturdy and have great hanging loops in the corner.  The are LARGE too, 18×28 and wear quite nicely. Periodically I stitch them up and use them for gifts.  They are meant to be used, and I think with using just tear away stabilizer on the back, they are very usable.  The black dishtowel I purchased in a bundle, specifically to embroider on. It is a loop terry, and I won’t buy that kind again.  I have a whole box of red terry kitchen towels to play with.  I think they will get Christmas motifs. I’ve been saving them for a day just like this!

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to take another class from Cheryl Lynch (  This class was held at Serendipity Quilt Shop in Dagsboro DE, and was the MINI-Mosaic Class. (More about that class in a minute).

This is the 3rd time I have had the chance to take a class with Cheryl.

In 2014 I did a project in her class called Sensational Silk, when she taught at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes De.  I was happy to take that project and “show it off” when she lectured in March at Helping Hands Quilt Guild in Dover DE.

Barn Raising in Silk
27 x 39″

This small wall hanging is made from dupioni silk and batik.  When I learned how to stabilize the silk for cutting into half square triangles, I had one of those “ah-ha” moments.  I was later able to transfer the method to other “non-quilt fabric” when I made this baptism banner for my granddaughter. That shiny gold fabric was just “perfect” for the cross, but would have been a bear to handle without that stabilizing lesson I learned with Cheryl.

Lori’s Baptism Banner, created by Grandma Mary

Then, of course, if you have read my blog for any bit of time, you might remember it was Cheryl who taught me the method for making my Pet Mosaic Quilt “Mittens“.  (I wrote about this project ALOT in 2016 & 2017…)

Mittens wins Viewer's Choice at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show

(Mittens is about 56×56″ and hangs in my living room. It was fun to take him “off the wall” and to the Helping Hands Guild meeting too, so Cheryl could see him “finally finished”)

When I had a chance to take another class from Cheryl, I jumped at the opportunity.  The mini-mosaic is a “much smaller” project than either the silk or the pet mosaic. We used 3/8″ squares for the project!  When I left the “all day class” – I came home and continued to work on the project after dinner.

Building the Mosaic

I was so engrossed that I kept at it until I had the entire mosaic completed!  Let’s just say midnight was a surprise to me!  I have more to do to “finish”, but this is where I have left off for now –

Mini Mosaic Project

The finish size is somewhere around 11″ x 14″ after quilting, borders and binding. But for now, it is still a “work in progress.  There are lots of steps to be taken yet, but Cheryl’s pattern is very clearly written, and I don’t think finishing it is going to be too hard.  She was right, it is a bit addictive.  In the project container Cheryl gave us everything we need to finish except our borders and backing. She even gave tips in class for hanging.

Meanwhile, the stack of tank tops I was going to embroider “before the trip” this week were left to sit, while my suitcase has been packed.  I have a busy week with various things before I head to California!  I’m looking forward to a 10 day Baja Peninsula and Sea of Cortez cruise leaving from California on Saturday! Snorkeling, sunshine, sea days await, as does some time with my favorite brother and One Block Wonder Woman(OBWW) after the cruise. Better get busy and pack up Grandma’s Kitchen and send it off to OBWW so it is waiting for me at her house!  (I can’t believe I get to quilt it on her new Gammill long arm!)

Just curious – do you ever take classes from the same teacher?  We are lucky to have so many venues in the mid Atlantic area where we can !


Note – each of the projects in this post have been written about previously. If you want more info on any of them, you can use the search function and the stated names to find those posts. 


Show update

I wanted to share with you that the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild show 2017 was a huge success!  My little corner of the show was busy and we made lots of sales at the 2nd Time Around Booth.  Quilters loved the bargains and bags we filled at check out reflected that!  Lot of merchandise moved on to someone else!

My transfer of inventory has taken place, and my fellow guild member Lois is taking over following the quilt show.  I am “moving on” to another job in the guild.  (I truly believe that 2 years in any volunteer position is long enough.)  My next job is membership chairman , and I admire Melissa for doing it for longer than I have been a member of the guild.

As we wrapped up the show, I thought a lot about the more than 40 volunteers who worked with me in the lead up this week to the show.  Beyond that, in the last year and 1/2, probably another 40 have worked tirelessly preparing fabric for sale at the show and the guild meetings.  It has been fun, and a lot of work, and lots of friendships were made in the process.  My apologies to any & all if I was a tad short tempered by the end of the day today.  By 3 pm today, I just KNEW I needed some time alone and away from the booth, and I spent an hour walking the quilts on display; and admiring the talent and art that was exhibited by the show participants.

I spent a bit of time talking with the representative of the Fiber Arts Center in Denton Maryland after enjoying the 300+ quilts on display.  What an interesting organization!  They are creating a great directory of artists, teachers etc on the DelMarVa peninsula, and we had a wonderful conversation.   Their purpose stated is this:  “The Delmarva region is home to a thriving fiber arts scene! The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES) was founded in 2011 to preserve and nurture all forms of fiber arts. From the pre-Colonial era through the Civil War, to today’s modern and fast-paced world, fiber artists have created works that reflect Delmarva’s culture. At FACES, we’re working to preserve this tradition.

We’re also working to build a vibrant community of fiber artists and enthusiasts. Perhaps more than any other visual art form, fiber arts are often social in nature. For centuries, women have joined together for quilting bees, sewing circles, and “stich ‘n bitch” groups. As more and more of our communication moves online, the face-to-face sharing of talent and ideas has become more important than ever.

We invite you to join our community. Become a FACES member, subscribe to our e-newsletter, join our regional directory, or check out an upcoming exhibit or class on our regional event calendar. Happy stitching!  ”  Check out their website –

I got pulled “away” from that conversation by the chairs of the show; and was delighted to be told, that my quilt “MITTENS” had won the VIEWER’S CHOICE award.   I was stunned, and overjoyed.  My thanks go out to all who voted for this art quilt. I’m so glad you took 6 steps back from the quilt and looked at it, as it was meant to be viewed.

Mittens wins Viewer's Choice at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show

Additionally – I received a 3rd place ribbon for “Addison’s Quilt“.  Now, I am sad to say, I never took a photo while it was hanging at the show with the ribbon beside it! (Insert shamed face here.)  I do have a few photo’s take at the time the quilt was made though —


Addison’s Quilt” has an interesting reverse side, and I think that is what got it into a prize winning category!

Addison's Quilt back

So, that’s it for my show update.  I spent most of the show behind the cash register, while coordinating volunteers who helped customers during their shopping.

If you want to see more about the Pet Mosaic Project – “MITTENS”, I have a FLICKR album with a ton of photos –Pet Mosaic Project . I also have an album full of photo’s on the  construction   of Addison’s quilt —

I’ve made multiple posts here on the blog in the last year on both of these quilts, and you can read more about them if you back track through the older posts.  🙂

Taking a little time off in the morning to head to Hershey PA for the quilt show there and looking for Bonnie Hunter’s exhibit. My reward to myself for hard work (and the hard work of my two friends riding along).

How is your weekend?  Tell me, if you enter a show and it is judge, what do you think about the report given to you????


Pet Mosaic Retreat

This past weekend I attended a Pet Mosaic Retreat with my favorite sister-in-law, Carolyn. Perhaps you are familiar with her blog:

Anyway, back to the retreat!  Last year, I saw a post from Cheryl Lynch about her recent group who had come to her lakeside cottage and done a project together.  Cheryl was already gearing up for this year, and I convinced Carolyn that we should attend.  So, Carolyn booked a flight from California, and arrived on Sunday, prior to the retreat.  We had a wonderful few days of visiting my newest granddaughter, and  all things quilty, before we headed up to Pennsylvania to Cheryl’s cottage.

We arrived about 5 pm on Thursday, and were able to get our sewing equipment unloaded and set up before dinner time. We had our pick of rooms! Yes, we got to sleep under quilts!   We enjoyed the one on one time that Cheryl provided at this retreat. She is set up for 4 quilters, so it is a small intimate group.  The wonderful food was prepped by her husband and finished by Cheryl and we always had way more to eat than possible.  We sat out on the dock to eat lunch and dinner on Friday.  The weather was so beautiful, we almost  forgot we were there to sew!

Lunch on the dock

The view out the windows that surrounded the room where we sewed was spectacular!  We made sure our design walls did not block it!

across the lake

Our project preparation included bringing a large piece of flannel or felt (in a contrasting color) and affixing it to the styro board that Cheryl provided.  She also had available a large AccuQuilt cutting machine for us to use.  We cut LOTS of 2″ squares on Thursday evening.  (I do wish that I had planned better and cut some at home before I left, so my time was more efficiently spent on the project!)  Each project takes 1296 two inch squares.  Carolyn and I were sharing the grey and the black.

We started right in designing our project after our early morning walk and breakfast of baked French toast and fruit.

Cheryl had given us a “grid” that went over our photo that we are working on.  In the photo below you see that I have blocked out with post-it notes all but the area I wanted to concentrate on.

Beginning the project

My project had an “ear” in the top left corner, so pretty quickly I was making color & shape choices.  The first section has 81 pieces.  I used those great marking pins that I made last year for the first section.

Ear  is formed

In order for the piece not to look like “pixels”, Cheryl helped us to create the angles in the pieces that would help give the proper shape.  In the above picture, you can see where I had to make several angles, and there are “pieces” tossed on the bottom of the board that had “been discarded” because my angle was not “exactly” what I wanted.  Funny thing is, I ended up pulling some of those “discards” off the bottom of the board for other spots.  At this point we are pinning right into the stryo board behind the felt. Much easier to “rearrange” if the pins are straight in.

Here you can see where I am working on the 2nd ear, and a photo of my subject (MITTENS).

2nd ear

I keep moving my “post-it notes” around on the gridded photo so I can stay focused.

By Saturday, I had progressed to the point where I could really “see” his ears, and had the first 4 sections arranged on the design wall. There were some pieces on that board that I ended up “drawing on paper” and paper piecing up to 5 fabrics to get all the angles “just right”.  I only did that a couple of times.

Mittens ears

Next up was sewing the first “section” together.  Cheryl has such great techniques to share and methods to keep us from getting pieces “confused” while we sew.  My angles were not “perfect” but I am not taking it apart! (Well, not today anyway)……

Section one

And the second section –

Mittens Mosaic

This was a fun project to work on, and Cheryl was available whenever we needed help!  She let us “design”, but was right there whenever a consultation was needed, and made wonderful suggestions on how to achieve the look we were after.  We did lots of pinning and numbering to keep things in order. Here is a “close up” that really helps you to see how the shading is taking place, and how much “space” is lost to the seam allowances.

the ear

As with any retreat, there is much laughter, talking, food, fun, wine and sewing.  I just started joining the third section on Sunday morning before it was time to think about packing up for departure after lunch.  Carolyn and I had stacks of 2″ squares everywhere on our tables.  So, I spent about an hour folding uncut fabric and sorting and stacking by “color” so it would be easier to deal with when we got home.  I “should have” thought ahead and brought small baskets/storage boxes so we could keep things organized during the retreat. Cheryl was sweet to let us “raid” her cabinets and pull out bowls and bakeware to keep things in.  Somehow, we managed to get it all home with out it becoming a jumble!

The weekend went so fast, but what can you do?  Sit on the dock and eat dinner, and enjoy the sunset!

Sunset over the lake


Next post I will share a few photo’s of Carolyn’s project.

Meanwhile, if you would like a preview – Cheryl has posted about our retreat weekend –   While you are on Cheryl’s blog, be sure to check out her specialty ruler- Curvalicious .  There is also information about her upcoming retreats!  I am so glad we signed up and spent a wonderful weekend learning a new technique.  I promised her that I would get my project finished and ready in time for a “group exhibit” in 2018.  A lofty goal she has given us!!!

I have lots of other projects in the works, and today will be my first day in over  7 weeks without travel or company……..but the sun is shining, the lawn needs cut, the pool needs cleaned and all I want to do is sew!

More later, as the day is already halfway gone!




Projects abound this week!

Have had a few more projects completed since the Baptism banner went in the mail.

Last week was Quilt Bee day for the Material Girls and we worked on baby quilts for a charity.

At our meeting we cut 6 inch (I think) squares using some lovely flannel.  I cut up enough for two kits.

I brought home a kit and  another stack of fabric to kit up.

The one I brought home already cut turned out like this —

flannel baby quilt for charity

flannel baby quilt for charity

Winnie the Pooh charity quilt in flannel

Winnie the Pooh charity quilt in flannel


I decided I would try a little “free motion quilting” which was less than lovely. 😦   (But hey, it is a baby quilt and they won’t care that my swirls and stippling aren’t great. Good practice…) I don’t like bringing the back to the front to bind, so I made some binding out of flannel scraps (left over from the wedding quilt last year).

My “next project” was to take a UFO out and finish it.


Cupcakes anyone?

Cupcakes anyone?

Used a pounce pad and stencil

Used a pounce pad and stencil

Quilted some swirls

Quilted some swirls

Finished front

Finished front

cupcake 9 patch back Baking fabric!!

cupcake 9 patch back Baking fabric!!

I loved this cupcake fabric and sprinkles, and most of all the fabric on the back and the border.  I have enough left to make an APRON for my youngest granddaughter…thinking 2nd birthday! (Shhh..don’t tell).

The next project…..there is a story of course.  A couple of weeks ago we were “up North” in Dover DE and ventured into the Habit for Humanity “re-store” store.  A favorite stop when we are in that area (we have one right in our home town we never seem to visit).  I spied a rolling butcher block top cart/island.  It was SOLID wood; real butcherblock top (2″ thick) and the price was $65.  I have been after a piece that I could transform into an ironing station. This met the requirements for sturdy and wide.  It is 2 ‘ x 4 ‘ and a nice comfortable height for working at.  We brought it home, gave it a good scrub with a brush and some murphy’s oil soap. Let it dry for 48 hours, then we coated the entire thing in teak oil.  That took nearly a week to soak in and no longer feel “sticky”.

This weekend we hauled it upstairs, into the quilt room (disassembly and reassembly required to get it up the stairs…..too heavy for me to help carry otherwise).  I picked up some nice 90″ wide batting (cotton) at WAL-MART off the bolt and 2 yards later, had a very nice padded surface.  We covered the cotton batting in flannel.  I engaged dear husband with his air powered staple gun to affix it snuggly.

We contemplated further “covering” for the project.  I bought this lovely ironing board cover at a quilt show in 2013 –

You will note that it is a “generous size  65x 29.  (Did I mention how thick the butcher block was?)

IronSlide brand cover by BoNash

IronSlide brand cover by BoNash

Well, it would not wrap around the edge and under for stapling….so, the next best thing….add an edge!!  (Thank you to the nice lady at Walmart who suggested that and sold me a box of self adhesive velcro.)

I added 9″ to the long side on both edges.  We tacked a piece of molding to the cart, with the hooky side of the velcro running the length.  (We measured and affixed the velcro before we tacked it to the cart).  We did this on all four sides.  With some careful markings with pencil and PINS, we marked where the velcro needed to go on the skirting and the ends, and put it on.  (Before we did the velcro step, we stretched out a nice big piece of flannel; taped it to the work table, and stuck the self adhesive cover to this piece of flannel.  I used my “Pampered chef” rolling pin to smooth it out.  Hubby was afraid it would be so sticky we would not be able to reposition or remove the cover if we wanted to.)(He is a genius….) It took longer to peel back the paper on the sticky side than any other part of the project.  The cover had “wrinkles” in it from being folded up in the packaging for so long.  I am SO glad we took that extra step because now, I can easily remove the cover.


Isn’t it fun!! I love the awning stripe fabric.  I have rolls of “decorator” fabric that I was gifted and this was the tail end of a roll.  I have just enough left to cover a bulletin board later this week. (Need more staples for the staple gun first. )  No, ironing a big quilt top will not be a problem  And I can pull it out from the wall as needed.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  Going to invest in a container for underneath to hold the starch and water jugs etc…that way they don’t get knocked over when I roll it around.  (Maybe a fabric box with some of that upholstery fabric I have bolts of….)

In between the ironing station project, I worked on a layout of my SILK half square triangles (HST). I took a class at the beginning of May and we made 96 3.5″ HST. Our class was taught by Cheryl Lynch ( ). She is a fabric artist who taught us how to stabilize the silk before cutting! She also had us draw a grid on the back of the fabric and we made speedy HST. Good trick if you are making a bunch in a particular color scheme. Check out her blog — I bet she is looking at architecture for great ideas for quilts.

I played around with a chevron design –


chevrons in silk

chevrons in silk

But then, I decided to try a design that was in the classs booklet called BARN RAISING:



You know I had to pick this.  It was by far the best idea from my perspective.  I think it will be a wall hanging.  It should finish out 24 x 48.  I have 4 rows on the bottom put together.  I have a goal of having it finished to take to the guild meeting  NEXT Monday.  (Garden weeding will HAVE TO WAIT…..).

I need to “up date” my 2014 project list with a few finishes! 🙂  I need to go sew….  My thought was to finish this, as it counts against the UFO list; and then cut out and sew a BAG that I purchased the pattern for.

I have a favorite “video blogger” The Gourmet Quilter” and she did a 3 video tutorial on a great over the shoulder bag

( )!

I loved it so much I bought the pattern from her website! If you have some time, go check out her videos!!  Picture of the bag from her website below to give you an idea!  Love that fabric she used.

(Pattern available here —  )

MY  bag will be made from fabrics in my stash.  At first, I thought I would use some of the lovely NYC fabrics I bought early this year.  But then, I changed my mind. I had some fabric just WAITING for me to use for this bag.  It will be my “treat to myself” when I get it finished.

Do go check out the Gourmet Quilter on her blog. Her videos are DELICIOUS.

Time to sew…..